Last week I had a quick business trip to New Delhi & I couldn’t help but write here few astonishing, surprising and stuffs worth sharing on blog things. As a Mumbaikar to the core, it’s quite obvious for me to compare any city I visit with the Maximum City (ie. Mumbai) and Delhi is no exception. However, I’d try not to be biased (& I’d try not to sound like Suketu Mehta 😮 ) & try not to bore you.
I’ve always been attracted to Delhi, maybe it’s because Hindi language, nation’s capital, great history & legacy or Punjabi pop music influence on bollywood; it doesn’t matter, the point is I always ^tried to love^ Delhi….. whenever I go there. Yes, it’s not the first time I been there, so here we go. In red bold words are the top things I noticed in Delhi
Society, Culture & People:
If I visit new place, I love to get lost! (but fortunately/unfortunately I never got lost!) I love to explore cities, & when I went Delhi I see no beggars. There’re no beggars. At least nobody begged me! and it’s not that I wondered only in ^posh areas^ of city. On bus station, auto rickshaw stand, railway stations, in the train, all possible public places, I never seen a beggar, it could be that everytime I went Delhi it was cold winter, but what would beggars do in cold? where do they go? & why should they come in summers anyways? it’s unbearable in New Delhi during any month of the year. I guess that is the reason why there’re no beggars, you cannot afford to be shelter-less in Delhi. Winter is freezing cold, summer is boiling hot & negligible rain during monsoon. Forget about beggars I wonder how normal people can live in that city! I observed very odd pattern and lifestyle at residential areas. In Delhi you buy a plot and build your own house. Landlord most of the cases gives on floor of the house/building for rent/lease. There’s no concept of equal people living together in a building owning flats like co-operative housing society, have common area, facilities like an apartment or sharing toilet and gallery like a chawl. Thus, every plot owner thinks selfish way. They have colonies consisting lots of grid-plots, where one plot ends and other starts sharing same compound fence. To utilise the avail land fully, they build house (?) corner to corner compromising greatly on ventilation. I would not call them houses they are actually small concrete boxes in a big city. There’re no skyscrapers for residents. I rarely seen high-rise buildings but those were corporate offices. I see it more like London than Mumbai. Still it cannot be compared with London, as it’s not a cosmopolitan city. In Delhi, all people speak in Hindi, (including the staff at the American Library) yes true! I hear haanji (yes sir!), sirji, ji, all the time. Really, once you’re outside your home, all people from boy at tea-stall to rickhaw-wala everybody address you with “sir” or “sirji“, that’s such awkward for Mumbaikar like me, c’mon, sir? oh, & if you want to know how they address here in Mumbai, just watch Taxi No. 9211. In fact most of the bollywood movies are filmed in Mumbai, has Mumbai in its theme and demonstrate Mumbai culture and style. Very rarely, a film is produced with Delhi-theme e.g. Khosla ka Ghosla. Same is with advertising be it print or TV media, since most of the ad agencies that work in Indian advertising industry are located in Mumbai, they have Mumbai flavour in their ads. Anyways before I lose my track, the point is if you don’t live near NCR area, or Northern India in general, you’re not exposed to Delhi culture well; whereas you get glimpse of Mumbai’s lifestyle and culture by watching TV & Bollywood movies. For instance I was not aware of Delhi’s clothing sense, fashion etc. & I must tell you I’m impressed. Not just girls are good looking they dress well, I think girls from Pune should learn something Delhi and Chandigargh. Sigh!
to be continued read part-2 transportation